Located roughly 50 miles north of Tulsa along the Caney River, the city of Bartlesville got its start as a trading post in the late 1800s. Many museums and art galleries throughout town chronicle those early pioneer days. One of the most popular attractions is Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve, where llamas, ostriches, and buffalo roam across thousands of acres. A museum onsite celebrates the city's rich Native American past and harks back to the Old West with displays of Navajo pottery, covered wagons, and cowboy saddles. These days, stagecoaches are nowhere to be seen along the Pathfinder Parkway, but the scenic 12-mile stretch is great for hiking and bicycling. Trails wind alongside the Caney River through forests inhabited by deer, raccoons, and wild birds. For all its countryside charm, Bartlesville boasts a vibrant cultural scene. Each June, musicians flock to the city for the OK Mozart Festival. This year, Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding is slated to appear along with a number of classical performers from around the country. Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Griselda Cesar Martinez has been dishing out authentic Mexican eats since 2006, when he purchased a mobile taco stand and named it El Refugio Azteca. After a couple years driving around the area, his culinary prowess and dedication earned him a permanent stomping ground. Within this brick-and-mortar restaurant, Martinez still stuffs tacos, burritos, and love letters to grizzlies with traditional meats such as spicy chorizo, beef tongue, and pork stomach.
Within The Pink House's elegant environs, guests laze their way through teatime and beyond with a plethora of loose-leaf liquids served next to an extensive menu of house-made soups and sandwiches. With more than 50 varieties to choose from, pots of loose-leaf tea ($2.99), help sippers brush up on etiquette while extending the pinky finger, entire arm, or prehensile ponytail of their choosing. Sandwiches made from freshly baked bread include the Summer Garden, with layers of cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, and a victory garden's worth of other vegetables ($7.49). Gobble a savory slice of the smoky ham and cheese quiche ($8.49) or indulge spice-seeking palates with the southwestern cobb salad—a toothsome mixture of romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, egg, and bacon tossed with Tex-Mex-inspired vegetables before getting drizzled and dressed with salsa ($7.49). Chocolate radars will ecstatically short-circuit when in close proximity to the shop's hot, gooey baked fudge, decadently topped with a dollop of whipped cream ($3.99 for whole).
The Belvidere Tea Room serves light lunch fare and pots of fine tea Tuesday–Saturday on the first floor of a 9,000-square-foot Belvidere mansion. Built in the early 1900s, the castle-like Victorian home still evokes the grandeur of its past with period furniture, pressed-tin walls, and original woodwork and trim brought from the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Complimentary tours offer guests a glimpse into the mansion's many chambers, including a grand ballroom adorned with gold chandeliers.
Ruby Tuesday is in the business of quality—its recipes call for 100% USDA Choice beef, seasonal vegetables, and premium cheeses. The staff handcraft and cook burgers, slathering the patties in aged New York cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, and barbecue sauce. They heap mountains of fresh greens atop the famed Garden Bar, where customers can construct their own salad. The bar is kept stocked with beers and liquors, as well. A resident mixologist whips up signature cocktails such as the Ruby Relaxer, a tension-banishing blend of vodka, rum, and peach schnapps topped with pineapple and cranberry juices.
For years, dough has complained about its crummy countertop view, which is why the gluten rehabilitators at Andolini's hand-toss each of their pizza's rounded crust-disks. Toppings are mercilessly sliced daily, and cheese is hand-grated in house. Signature pizzas (ranging from $8.95 for 10" to $26.95 for 20", depending on toppings) include the clemenza, a savory wreck of meatballs, genoa salami and italian sausage, and the alliterative pistachio pesto pizza, with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and pesto made with fresh-ground pistachios. All the recipes on the menu come straight from the owners’ (brothers Jim and Mike Bausch) family table; they’re personal recipes crafted with fresh, authentic ingredients. Run taste buds over the selection of salads, strombolis, calzones, sandwiches, pasta, entrees, and desserts.